Everyone I know {myself included} has an addiction.

Not a chemical or clinical addiction – an addictive coping strategy.

Any reflexive response to stress, anxiety, uncertainty, or emotional pain is an addiction.

–      Zoning out with T.V.
–      Taking the edge off with a glass of wine {or a bottle}
–      Mindless eating
–      Getting lost in a sexy novel
–      Frantic busyness
–      Compulsive exercise
–      Creating drama
–      Obsessive cleanliness
–      Workaholism

My addiction of choice is dark chocolate. If you run into me at the market or at the park, you can always count on me to hook you up with a square. No matter what, I will have a bar stashed away somewhere in case of emergency.

Addictive coping strategies allow us to avoid feeling what we are feeling and distract us from what is going on beneath the surface. They momentarily push back the darkness.

The purpose in addiction is to no longer feel what is uncomfortable, if only for a few minutes. And yet, engaging in an addictive coping strategy only serves to prolong suffering.

Releasing the addiction requires that we allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling even {especially} if it’s painful.

Before you engage in your addiction, ask yourself:

What am I avoiding?
What do I not want to feel?
What might happen if I allow myself to feel it?
What do I really need?

By deepening our awareness of what we are feeling and what we really need, we are free to choose a conscious action over unconscious addiction.

Freedom follows.